In Which We Talk Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian

MOON: Okay, let’s do tea!

JENN: We did the afternoon tea in the Grand Floridian’s Garden View Lounge for the first time in June of 2008. There have been many changes since then, some positive and some negative, but it is the one WDW restaurant I have returned to more than any other. I think my count is up to… I dunno, five times? Six?

Anyway, Moon and I went again in February, so we figured we’d talk about it, because it is awesome.

MOON: I was just looking at photos of our tea yesterday. Yuuum. 😀

JENN: The Garden View Lounge is located on the first floor of the Grand Floridian, at the back of that vast lobby area. It’s scarcely even its own room, just kinda roped off up a few stairs in a vestibule. The walls are almost entirely made of window and the views of the grounds are lovely. I love watching the cast members go by and their adorable Victorian outfits with the caps and the knee pants!

The Garden View Lounge afternoon tea service can be purchased a la carte or in certain pre-set prix fixe menus. We almost always get the Grand Tea, largely because of the dessert options, but we’ll get to that!

The first thing you do when ordering said Grand Tea is select your tea. The teas are loose leaf and brewed individually in personal pots. Unfortunately, the tea menu condensed awhile back, deleting my favorite tea, the cassis. Still, the selection is good and the quality is high. I want to say I got the Mad Hatter tea last time? It was a lightly flavored black tea and very good. You’re given lump sugar and milk if you want your tea English style.

They put your teapot in a tea cozy to keep it warmer. And cuter.
The little strainer is for putting over your cup as your pour, to keep
the loose tea leaves out.

MOON: I have no memory of what I picked, but I’m pretty sure I would have picked a black tea. So, one of them.

JENN: The Grand Tea also comes with champagne, although you can substitute sparkling cider. This we did on this particular occasion, as we were running the Princess Half in a few days and didn’t want to overdo it on the alcohol. The strawberry wedged on the edge of the glass is a nice touch!

Another time, this coulda been champagne!

The Grand Tea comes in three courses, alongside your tea and champagne/cider. The first course is tea sandwiches. These had been pretty much the same over the three or four years I had them – and then on this last tea, they changed!

The most important thing about the finger sandwiches I want to mention, however, is that they are easily customizable to fit certain diets. Moon is a pescetarian, which means she’ll eat fish but no meat. The sandwiches include chicken salad as well as duck wrapped in… um… prosciutto? Some pork product. The waitress was happy to sub the chicken salad for a second smoked salmon sandwich and the duck for an extra onion tart.

Other sandwiches include (if memory serves) a cucumber sandwich, an egg salad sandwich, and a pear and gorgonzola sandwich (shrimp salad sandwich wasn’t included during this run – maybe it’ll make a return or maybe it’s been permanently replaced?). I think they’d have to make you something different if you’re vegan, but vegetarians should be pretty easily accommodated by doubling up on the sandwiches they can eat. Of course, it never hurts to call ahead! They can probably make completely new sandwich combinations as well with a little notice.

The chicken salad sandwich has curry and is Jenn’s favorite!

MOON: The first time I went to tea with Jenn was around four or five years ago and at that time I was vegetarian to the max and I remember not having a lot of options. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it! The tea is really why I’m there, anyway. But yeah, if you’re vegetarian you’ll probably want to call ahead, and if you’re vegan you definitely will.

JENN:
  The second course consists of a delicious scone with Devonshire cream and what I believe is strawberry jelly and a strawberry jam tart (again, I’m pretty sure it’s strawberry but my memory could be fritzing; let me know if you know it to be raspberry). These are of course exceptionally tasty, but they’ve changed the presentation of the jam and cream. The latter used to come in a pretty whipped dome shape, and the former used to arrive in its own personal little jam jar. Not that either of these things have any bearing on the taste, but I kinda miss ’em…

The final course is your choice of either two pastries chosen from a little tray or English trifle. We can’t really speak to the pastries because we ALWAYS get the trifle, and I’m going to let Moon take this one because she has such an uncharacteristically effusive take!

MOON: I approve of the trifle! As you can tell by my lack of input that I do not have a strongest memory… But I remembered the trifle from our trip a few years back and had to have it again in February. It’s delicious – kind of like strawberry shortcake, with cream.

JENN: It has gotten WAY fancier. Formerly they just brought you some trifle in a bowl that had clearly been scooped out of a larger receptacle. Now it’s all artistic!

Trifle back in the day up there.

Trifle now below!


MOON:
Retrospectively, I think I would have opted for just the tea and the trifle, because honestly, I was pretty full half way through our meal. Jenn, did we finish the trifle?

JENN: We did! Yeah, a la carte might not be a bad idea, although the individual prices are a bit high… the package meals tend to be a good deal by comparison (some of these are smaller; some larger, so you have options). Maybe split a Grand Tea and buy an extra pot of tea and trifle. Great way to save money and have room for more Disney snacking later. But people with hearty appetites may want to buy their own Grand Tea. And be sure to budget a fair amount of time – we average about an hour and a half for the entire meal and lingering over tea.

MOON: I mean, if you haven’t had the whole grand tea experience: you should. I think the experience really stands out from what WDW has to offer – from a dining AND ambiance perspective.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

In Which Crosstraining is Discussed & Jenn Tries to Sell Moon on Ballet

JENN: What’s your cross-training regimen?

MOON: You always ask me first. I insist you share this time!

JENN: Haha, okay! I try to do some push-ups plus crunches, and similar ab exercises on a regular basis. I say try, but in all honesty I don’t do it very often… I’m a little better about grabbing some low-weight dumbbells and doing some basic arm exercises.

The problem with all of it is – and I know this is kinda weird in a small apartment gym – if there’s anyone else there I get REALLY self-conscious about doing anything other than running. Even the running feels a little weird, but I can power through it. Any other exercises, though, feel like I’m exposing myself to ridicule. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s the direction my brain goes.

MOON: I think I know what you mean. I still have problems running next to you!

JENN: I’ve got nothin’ but love, baby!

MOON: But remember: nothing is more hilarious than watching me try to swim. When I was getting ready for the tri, I had to get myself to swim a mile.

JENN: How was that tri?

MOON: So, I was SO READY for that. It was my first event and I was solo. About four weeks before the event, I went to NC with college friends and I messed up my foot, tripping over a rock. I came home and waited a few days to see if it would get better. It didn’t, so I went to the doctor one night when it was feeling especially bad. He told me to not walk on it for six weeks.

So, needless to say, I was bummed. I also fell attempting to get across the parking lot with crutches.

JENN: Well, hey. Go big or go home!

MOON: Yeah, I GUESS. ANYWAY, swimming is not my forte and if you ever need a laugh…

Cross-training: I really favor cardio, but I like mixing it up between running, biking, and the elliptical. I don’t do a lot of lifting with my upper body, but it’s something I’ll probably get into eventually.

JENN: The main thing I do religiously is something I think you should try again! BALLET. I love ballet class. I take two classes a week in the summer and three in the fall/winter months.

MOON: You = graceful swan. Me = monster.

The nutcracker that shows up in Epcot’s Germany pavilion in December is very inspiring.
At least it was in 2008. Dear God, is this photo really almost five years old?

JENN: Well, sure, on the FIRST DAY. You only took one class. Ballet is a 100% ugly duckling situation. NO ONE just wanders into ballet class and starts grande jete-ing around like a pro! Heck, the kids who start out in preschool are mostly just flailing to music anyway.

My experience with yoga is limited, but I think ballet is a great workout along similar lines, at least in some ways: it’s not necessarily overly strenuous or heart-pumping in the cardio sense, but it requires concentration and utilizes muscles that might not otherwise get used. It’s also GREAT for your feet. My arches are titanium!

MOON: I’m a flat foot. Am I off the hook?

JENN: Nope! Ballet would strengthen those suckers. And you would BECOME a graceful swan!

Another great thing about ballet for runners is the stretching, I hear mixed opinions about stretching – it’s good before, it’s good after, it’s good both, it’s good NEVER – but regardless, all the stretching we do keeps my muscles from seizing up. I’ve GOT to stretch out my legs for ballet class or I’m not going to get anything done properly.

MOON: I think you should stretch all the time!

JENN: Yes! And much of that stretching can be done in ballet class. 😀 😀 😀

MOON: Monsters don’t look good in spandex.

JENN: Psh. Strictly speaking, you have a better ballet body than I do, in terms of what a professional company would want. But then I’m not professional and never will be, so why worry? I just soak in the benefits.

MOON: My first born will be a prima ballerina. Second born will be an astronaut. And if for whatever reason one is incapable, then both careers will fall on the other.

JENN:
No pressure! Which, coincidentally, is what your second born will feel in space. TADOW!

MOON: Hahaha, that’s right!

SPACE. The final frontier.

JENN: And continuing the no-pressure theme, I’ll stop harassing you about ballet. Any other cross-training to mention?

MOON: Besides normal gym stuff, no, not really.

JENN: Me neither. So obviously we’re open to suggestions.

MOON: I’d really like to do join a soccer league, so if anyone participates in one in the MD area, let me know!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

The Fairest Week in Review: 7/29

JENN: Okay, here’s my first report for the week: the running skirt I bought last week was a bust. I tried it on and it fit really comfortably, which should’ve been the first red flag. Since the undershorts weren’t gripping my thighs with deathly force, they naturally rode up as soon as I started to run.

MOON: I figured they would probably ride up too much for running.

JENN: It’s not a total loss, since it was only fourteen bucks and it’s always useful to have a skirt with undershorts for picnics and other sitting-down endeavors, but as a running accoutrement: no good. Ah well. Back to the drawing board!

MOON: How was training this week?

JENN: Right! The actual running thing! It was decent. I got some long-ish runs in with okay times. I’m a little concerned that my right knee has started bugging me when it always used to be my left, so I’m giving myself an extra day off and just walking tomorrow. Hopefully that’ll take care of things.

MOON: A break will probably do you some good. I hope your knee feels better soon!

JENN: How about you?

MOON: So, this week I have been mostly in Delaware at the beach. I have done all of my running outside and I must say that it has been the best running week I’ve had since I moved to Baltimore (and had to do a lot of running inside).

JENN: Yay!

MOON: I’m convinced it is the R&R, but my speed and distance improved. I coerced [our friend and Moon’s roommate] Andrew into taking a walk that was over 3 miles (he will be ready for 5k in no time!).

And here is the best part: Yesterday I went for a swift 5 mile run. It was around 2:30PM and rather hot. The sun was out full force with no shade, but this was all part of the plan… because when I finished my route, I ran into the ocean!

JENN: Niiiiiice!

MOON: The water has been quite cold all week and I haven’t really been in much, so I figured the only way for me to get in was to just go for it.. and to do that I needed to be really hot, so there you go. I recommend this to all runners; it was pretty glorious.

JENN: I think runDisney should arrange for a GIANT swimming pool at the end of the course. And then the finish line is six inches in front of the edge. Maybe they can alter the course so that it ends in Typhoon Lagoon’s wave pool.

Preferred race end (parfait optional).

MOON: Hahaha, I second!

JENN: What songs accompanied you on this glorious run?

MOON: I am still listening to Wild Beasts; nothing new there! What about you?

JENN: Plumbing the depths of my Flogging Molly collection. “Factory Girls” is pretty good.

MOON: I haven’t listened to them for years. I should get that album out.

JENN: Another Bag of Bricks” is my favorite. I break it out whenever I need a speed boost!

They opened with “Another Bag of Bricks”! IT WAS AWESOME.

By the bye, if anyone has any running song suggestions, we’d certainly be happy to hear ’em. Always good to have new material in rotation.

And now for a humble collection of noteworthy blog posts:

Katherine of Food Fitness Fantasy discusses our home away from home, Pop Century. Ask for a room in the ’60s building!
Did you know that Disney Legend Bob Gurr blogs for MiceChat?! I didn’t! Did you know that the ’50s rocked? I did!
Sarah of Gluten-Free & Dairy Free at WDW is starting her own runDisney journey! Go encourage her!
MousePlanet has another great runDisney article, this one about running on a budget. Never hurts to have more advice on the fiscal front, no?
Sarah of RAD Living talks hydration. Especially important with the temperatures we’ve been experiencing of late.
Learn about the eight different types of runs with Carrots ‘n Cake.

That does it for today – see you back here tomorrow for more of the usual awesomeness! (Really, this is the week we’ll be awesome. I can feel it.)

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

Squirtgun to Your Head: Favorite WDW Ride?


JENN:
In my head I originally titled this series “Gun To Your Head,” the idea being that if someone were to hold a gun to your head and demand your favorite Disney ride and you can only say one with no caveats GO, what would you say?

But that seemed needlessly violent, given the subject matter, so I vote we call it Squirtgun To Your Head. Much friendlier.

So, ahem. I’m holding a squirtgun to your head. What is your favorite ride at Walt Disney World and why?

MOON: SPACESHIP EARTH! History of western civilization narrated by Judi Dench. And the sleepy monk.


JENN:
I remember when you selected the French language track, and wound up SO disappointed because you expected Judi Dench speaking French. Which she really ought to, you know, because it rhymes.

MOON:
I, as well as the French nation, have been let down.

JENN: Mine would have to be Expedition Everest, I think. It’s got thrills AND story! And sherpas! My mother had a Himalayan cat named Sherpa, because she’s clever, so I get excited at the mention of sherpas, because I’m weird.
Also, one of my favorite WDW memories is of the second time I dragged you onto the ride, but I’ll keep that one in my back pocket for our post on how I’m a terrible person who makes you ride roller coasters. 😀

MOON: I just HAD to see the yeti.

JENN: And it only took, what, four tries before you uncovered your eyes? 😉

MOON: I will say that I love that part of Animal Kingdom. And waiting in the line is pretty nice, actually. And a bucket full of tears.

Not pictured: Bucket full of tears.

JENN: Psh. You love it. And I would just like to note for the record that she goes on the ride voluntarily, even if she likes to pretend otherwise, and I don’t have to put a squirtgun to any part of her!

MOON: I have made a promise to myself: to man up.

JENN: And you’ve kept it!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

In Defense Of Our Predicted Tink Finishing Time

JENN: As you will know if you read our Princess Half Marathon recap, our finishing time was 2:52. And as you will know if you read our Tinker Bell Half registration post, we put down 2:20 as our projected finish. You might be thinking to yourself, “Hmmm. That’s quite a jump.”

But wait! We can explain! We feel that many factors slowed our time during the Princess, which incidentally was our first half. We learned a lot in it.

MOON: That, and… Jenn and Moon: now with bionic legs.

JENN: It’s true. We got the upgrade. We stroll to the moon on our lunch breaks now. But we’ve decided to play fair and don regular legs for the half. You know, so as not to demoralize the others.

MOON: Right!

JENN:
Which brings us to warp Factor #1: the weather. The Princess Half was not blessed with running weather.

MOON: No. Hot and humid. Not quite to the max, but enough to make running at 6AM unpleasant.

JENN: Experts recommend you decrease your speed in the face of heat and humidity. This was therefore not a help.

However! Southern California is professionally a sunny 75 degrees year round, right? That’s what it DOES. 5AM should feature a lovely brisk running weather forecast.

MOON: Well, I’m currently getting a lot of practice in unpleasant weather. So, either way, I will be set!

JENN: Factor #2: the crush of people. During the Princess, we encountered what seemed at times to be an impenetrable series of human walls. We did a lot of dodging and braking and weaving and going around. It adds up.

MOON: I remember getting to the 5K mark and thinking, “will this let up?”

JENN:
It sort of did, eventually, but not until… mile seven, would you say? Definitely after the castle. The castle was still crowded.

MOON: Yeah, it got a little better, but I don’t think I was ever running freely, if you know what I mean.

In my head, I imagined running through the castle gloriously one-by-one and having a private moment of triumph, ha!

Like this, only faster.

JENN: If only! But we have some strategies to combat this problem for Tink.

First off, by aiming for a 2:20 finish, we’ll hopefully be placed in a corral among faster runners who are less likely to form a blockade.

Second, one of the nice advantages of Disneyland is its compact nature. You can walk to everything, and that includes the starting line from our hotel.

That means no huge line for the bus. No fighting traffic once we’re ON the bus. No lengthy walk just to get to your corral, even! (Or so I hear!) So – we can get up at the same time, but be at our corrals MUCH sooner. Hopefully toward the front, so we can start the race off free and easy!

MOON: Yay!

JENN:
This brings us to Factor #3, which is the factor we brought upon ourselves: we walked. Two. Whole. Miles. Not in a row, but STILL. Why did we do that again?

MOON:
I think at the time the question was more, “Why not?” Honestly, when I work out at home I usually never walk for more than .25 miles

JENN:
Me neither! I think our psyches got the best of us. At the time I was like, “Well, I’ve run nine miles already. I’m tired.” It made sense. But looking back on it, I know I didn’t need it. Not really.

MOON: Agreed. I think we burned out physically and mentally near the end.

JENN: And it was our first half marathon. We just wanted to DO it. Well, now we’ve done it. We know we can. Time to starting doing it RIGHT.

So. Not to say walking is verboten in all future cases, but we’ll know better than to keep it up for more than the few minutes we need to replenish our energy stores.

MOON: We will be ready! We’ve been keeping up with our running schedules, running together, eating well, and now we’re even blogging about it!

JENN: And that brings us to Factor #4, which is essentially – we will be ready!

MOON: Steve Holt
! (We haven’t said it in a while, right?)

JENN: I wouldn’t say we were under-prepared for the Princess, but it was our very first race and we only had our eyes on the prize for a few months.

But we decided to go for the Coast to Coast medal pretty much as soon as the Princess medals were around our necks. Which means that by the time January rolls around, we will have had nearly a year to prepare, both physically and mentally.

And! It will be our third half marathon, because we will have run our second in September, which means more learning about how to most effectively run a race.

MOON: I’m actually pretty excited about September!

JENN: My PR for 13.1 miles in training is down to 2:13. My goal is to have it shaved down to 2:10 by the time we hit CA, but secretly I’d like to get to 2:05… we’ll see!

MOON: I just started training again at the end of May, so my goal for September is 2:20 with no walking. Then we can resubmit our proof of time, which may help our corral placement!

JENN: To review:

Better weather + fewer roadblocks + less walking + more preparation = a half marathon finish time that’s 30 minutes faster than the Princess. We can do it!

MOON: We WILL do it!

JENN: As Moon so rightly said: STEVE HOLT!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

In Which Moon Touches On Restrictive Dieting

We’ll periodically be putting up solo posts from one or the other of us, just to keep the format fresh. And you know, for funsies. Today Moon tackles a topic that has great meaning to us both…

Restrictive diets: say no.

Let’s talk a little about nutrition and diet. Most of the “diets” I have experienced have been extremely restrictive. So, in other words, they are not diets, but more like a blacklist for your stomach. I would like to take a different approach. How about we not create a diet based on what to restrict from our bodies, but build a balanced diet that gives our bodies what they need (and want!).

I have a lot of experience with weird eating habits and crazy diets, but let’s start with my most current eating concern. All of my adult life I have been a vegetarian. I am a vegetarian who is also lactose intolerant. But, let’s start with vegetarianism. Most of the time I get this reaction:

What DO you eat? And yes, the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding was correct in the portrayal of family members insisting that the leaner meats are not meat at all (That’s okay, that’s okay. I make lamb).

I eat everything except meat, of course! And honestly, I really love vegetables. For the past few years I’ve been trying to figure out what is going on with my cholesterol levels. I went for a yearly check-up with my primary physician and a few weeks after the appointment I received a letter that basically read, “You are overweight and should consider a weight management program.”

My initial reaction was amusement, but after going through the test results, I discovered that my cholesterol levels were through the roof. This was surprising to me because my diet contained barely any cholesterol (minimal amounts from eggs, but I rarely ate eggs). Now, I understand that cholesterol has strong ties to the genes you have, but I have NO idea about my medical history because I am adopted. However, I never before showed any high levels of cholesterol. Now, I have another condition that might account for the high levels of cholesterol, but I take medication that should balance that out. Here’s the bottom line: I needed to change my diet to try and lower at least the bad levels of cholesterol. To do this, I started to eat fish.

I cried the first time I ate fish. A small number of vegetarians out there are probably empathizing with me right now, but the majority of you are probably thinking, seriously? Vegetarianism became for me a way of life and while I did not start because I was against eating animals, over time I did feel that going back to eating meat would be in some way contaminating or somehow letting myself down.

I shouldn’t have been upset to eat fish. Sometimes I consider stopping, but I honestly have no negative side effects from eating fish (don’t get me wrong; I am absolutely for better treatment of animals. I am for eating organic and I try to stay far away from processed foods. I think our meat industry is in terrible disarray).  However, in retrospect I really believe that I should have been easier on myself for eating something that was good for me. And the fish has been helping. I am stronger and healthier. My protein levels are getting better and I will find out soon to see if my cholesterol is any better.

Here’s the thing with restrictive diets: it does something to my psyche. I go overboard with removing foods from my diet. I’ve found shortcuts to calorie intake. I think it does something to a lot of us, mentally, and I firmly believe that if your mind and body are not in the right place then whatever you are going for won’t have the best outcome.

And finally, to the point of the post: Eat what makes you healthy, strong, and happy. You might be thinking, Yeah, but I want to eat cake topped with cake. I want to play steak with Jenn. Can I deep-fry the cake? I find that my uncontrollable cravings for sugar are usually because I’m stressed. When I’m stressed I try to run to rid myself of the bad energy and usually it works enough to get me to calm down. I think if we recognize why we crave some of the unhealthiest foods all the time, we might be able to balance the real issue.

The good news is: let yourself eat something you like every now and then! There is nothing wrong with enjoying the sweet, sweet, nectar that is all foods found in a bakery. It’s the extreme desire of wanting unhealthy foods all the time that is usually an indicator of another issue. Be positive in your approach to your nutrition! Above all else, keep your body and mind happy and healthy and things will fall into place.

A lot of our diet is controlled by bad moods, stress, and anxiety. Take the negatives out of the equation and don’t be afraid to try something new.

Restrictive dieting has definitely messed with both our psyches in the past. We’ll be talking more about this subject in the future. There are still so many destructive habits floating around among women out there – but we think it’s great that blogging has opened up a dialogue about it! If you have any thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.

Delicious sandwiches from Backlot Express.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

The Fairest Week in Review: 7/22

JENN: Wanna do our weekly?

MOON: Sure!

JENN: Then let’s hit it! How’d your training go this week?

MOON: Rather well, actually. I jogged indoors, outdoors, got through a minor ankle issue, and tried an intense elliptical workout.

JENN: Ankle okay now?

MOON: It’s getting there. I honestly don’t know what I did to offend it. How was your week? I know you were in San Francisco and weren’t feeling so well…

JENN: I had a pretty off week. I got my mileage in, but I never really found a groove. I was tired every time. I’m kinda bummed about it – the gym had glass windows looking out thirty-five stories above San Francisco, and as much as I wasn’t thrilled by the city it was a great view. I just couldn’t quite find my footing, as it were.

Maybe the explanation is as simply as a three hour time zone shift. Although I hope not, because if that’s the case, there goes my performance in the Tinker Bell Half…

MOON: Well, we will be excited and the course will be great, so don’t worry about that!

JENN: And the weather is bound to be beautiful! And we’ll have a whole day beforehand to rest.

MOON: You know, I’m sure it was just jet lag, stress from having to do work stuff along with fitting in your runs. and “airport sickness.” It’s a lot to pack into five days.

JENN: Airports always get me!

MOON: Me too!

JENN: I wasn’t really sick, but I feel like any time I spend a lot of time in airports I come out with just the slightest edge of what may or not be a cold. And I credit my escape from a full-blown cold to orange juice.

MOON: Mmmhmm.

Well, I’m glad you’re back! I’ve missed you. 

JENN:
Awww, I missed you too! I got a running skirt on sale for $14 at Target today. We should go for a run so I can try it out! It’s got light green accents, so it would be perfect for the Tinker Bell Half.

Jenn’s new skirt (credit Target.com)

MOON: Cute! That sounds good to me.

JENN: We’ll need to talk Tink outfits at some point in the future!

MOON: Haha, okay!

I’ll be running mostly outside this week because I’m at the shore except for Monday and Tuesday. I’m hoping to improve my time AND distance this week. The route I have here is on a highway, basically. It’s really hot, humid, and boring. If I can make it through this I can do anything.

JENN: You should definitely take some pictures if you go for a picturesque run. Any good songs on your playlist?

MOON: It’s the same band as last week, but I especially liked “We Still Got the Taste of Dancing on Our Tongues” by Wild Beasts. Some pretty impressive falsetto. You?

JENN: I’ve been enjoying Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Seems a very running sort of song. I’m not usually a country kind of girl, but Johnny Cash isn’t country, nor is he anything else. He is simply Johnny Cash. And Johnny Cash is a great musical genre.

MOON: I think JC would be great for long runs.

JENN: He’s got a steady beat.

I also had a Moon sort of moment yesterday. See, Moon is always ferreting out exciting new music before anyone else.

One of the songs I was going to mention today is “Beast” by Nico Vega. The lyric “We’re not going down like this” really works for me sometimes when I need a push. I THOUGHT I had discovered it through the trailer to BioShock: Infinite.

Then yesterday the old iPod I keep in my car was dead, so I turned on the radio. What comes on but “Beast.” And I was all, BUT THAT’S MINE! Very hipsterish of me, I’m sure. 😉

MOON: Haha, letting your inner hipster out.

JENN: I remember when you were all upset that the radio found Finger Eleven.

MOON: Oh MAN, that was like… high school!

JENN: And then you started listening to Anberlin, so WE started listening to Anerblin, and then the radio started playing Anberlin something like three YEARS later, and we all responded with a collective “…?”

MOON: I’d like to think my taste has become a bit more refined. 😉 By the way, if anyone is interested in playlists, shoot me an email. Let me know what kind of music you like and I’ll try to put something together for you!

JENN: Me! I want one!

But hey, sometimes the best running songs aren’t even GOOD, technically – they just keep you moving. That’s why I let Ke$ha songs pop up now again. There. Now I’m officially the most embarrassing!

Although in my defense, the Ke$ha thing is Star Trek‘s fault, so I came to it in the nerdiest way possible.

And now that I’ve thoroughly discredited myself, here are some running/Disney blog posts from around these fanciful internets!

– Our friend Andrew sent us a great The Oatmeal comic about running. We’ll make you run a 5K with us yet, Andrew!
– Moon will have a post tomorrow about diet and nutrition, but in the meantime, if you’re Paleo, Eat Sleep Run Disney has some great recipes for you. I must try the mug cake!
Over at Running at Disney, Sarah talks about her must-dos as a Disneyland newbie. We’ll be looking at Sleeping Beauty Castle for the first time ourselves in January for the Tinkerbell Half, so this is inspiration for us!
MousePlanet has a great series of articles on runDisney; the most recent discusses racing tips. It kinda freaks me out a little that I’ve been reading MousePlanet since 2005…
Organic running apparel company Raw Threads is holding a contest with the prize of a $200 gift card. I have one of their shirts and I love it!

I was a bit remiss in my blog reading last week, being at a conference and all. If you ever feel like you’ve found/written something awesome we simply must see, feel free to drop us a line or leave a comment!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

The Coldest Winter Jenn Ever Spent

Hi there! Just Jenn here today. Guess where I spent the last week running?

But Mr. Twain, if you meant it literally you should’ve SAID.

That’s right – high above San Francisco! I was there for a business trip, and my hotel’s gym was on the top floor. It was certainly quite the novelty! And as a bonus, the treadmills were the fancy type with the monitors attached.

Bonus: my hotel room featured a scenic view of the Nike store.

So that was fun. As for San Francisco itself, my feelings on the city can be summed up at marker 0:31:

Look, I have a hard enough time adjusting to October in October. October has NO BUSINESS getting all up in my July. And then the defense is, “But it’s like this in January too!” And I’m like, what’s the POINT of being cold if there’s never any chance of snow? And also, here in Maryland I can think to myself, well, I’m cold now, but in a few months it will be warm again. Whereas in San Francisco I could think, well, I’m cold now, but in a few months… I will still be cold. This is weather as furnished by purgatory. To live in San Francisco is to live without hope.

And so I was wandering the city, feeling lost and alone and bitter about the fact that I was wearing a JACKET and PANTS in JULY and composing an angry inner monologue to that effect, when I happened to glance down the street and see this:

SANCTUARY!

It was like being in a foreign country and spotting the American embassy.

I don’t <3 San Francisco, but I suppose I can Mickey it.

I know, I know – everyone else on earth loves San Francisco. My own father, whose DNA I supposedly share, loves it. Heck, Moon likes it fine. But you’re talking to a girl who found the temperatures during an August WDW visit to be hot, but perfectly manageable. As Eeyore so wisely said: We can’t all, and some of us don’t.

One last note: I was on an egregiously slow and ancient work laptop all week. Usually I proof these posts, but getting anything done on that monster was such a terrible chore that I was just slapping up anything I could manage. Apologies for any weird typos and spacing issues that may have plagued previous posts.

Okay, that’s all from me! Moon and I will be back next week with more running and Disney conversations. See you then!

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

The Blog That Almost Was

When we first set out upon this great runDisney endeavor, the first step was deciding upon a name. Many ideas were batted about, some punnier than others, but we wanted to highlight the one that almost made it.

Jenn sent Moon an email with the below video, a clip from Disney’s The Wind in the Willows. “How about We’re Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily On Our Way to Nowhere in Particular?” Jenn suggested. “I love it!” said Moon. “Would you have gotten the reference if I hadn’t sent the video?” said Jenn. “No,” said Moon. And so it was deemed too obscure. Nevertheless, we can’t help but present this near-miss. What do you think? Did we make the right choice?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!

The Great Margarita Caper

JENN: So today I would like to talk about the Great Cucumber Margarita Caper, Or; Drinking 1/12 of the Way Around the World.

MOON: You mean drinking our way INTO Mexico and then I’m drunk?

JENN: Well, technically we drank IN Mexico, and then out of Mexico. But everywhere we went, we took Mexico with us.

MOON: We drank outside of Mexico?

JENN: Our initial idea, you see, was to engage in the traditional Drinking Around the World. Not too quickly, and sharing drinks, of course. We took our drink with us.

MOON: Well, I know the plan was to drink something in every country, but I just remember Mexico. Was there tequila? Because if we did a shot of tequila first, I totally understand the haze.

JENN: Haha, nope. No excuses. That was Elizabeth. She is twice the man we’ll ever be.

We started our journey with La Cava del Tequila, naturally. The line was, as is so often the case, at La Cava, and we had plenty of time to consider the margarita menu. We briefly toyed with the idea of the pomegranate but eventually settled on cucumber.

 First of all: it came rimmed with chili salt. If I had a binder, I would doodle “Mrs. Chili Salt” all over it.

Mrs. Chili Salt

MOON: …I get jokes.

JENN: I am a very sophisticated comedian.

As for the margarita itself, it was delicious. There were actual chunks of cucumber floating around in the drink. These of course soaked up the liquid and became progressively tastier as time went on.

MOON: See, this is why we have a two-man team. If I had to write this blog on my own, this would be the entry: We had a drink. Annnnd, I’ll see you guys later.

JENN: You would make a great meme.

MOON: I don’t doubt it. I’m assuming my picture is going to pop up sometime during this post, so I must be upfront with the audience: I am a lightweight. Can’t hold my alcohol. My skin turns red, my hands and feet swell and my head will itch.

JENN: Awww. You just look adorably flushed. Like a Jane Austen heroine.

MOON: Don’t get me wrong, I love a drink every now and then (maybe two if it’s a long evening), but I need to drink at the pace of a cactus.

JENN: Also, have you noticed you look kinda like the Korean version of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl in the pictures?

The rootinist, tootinist cowgirl in the Wild Wild West

MOON: No, I can’t say that I have!

JENN: It’s magnificent.

MOON: Yee-haw?

JENN: I can be Bullseye. There, Halloween done.

MOON: Hahaha, okay!

JENN: How much of the margarita would you say you had before you started going slightly loopy?

MOON: One quarter. No kidding.

JENN:
And so, having completed one quarter of one drink out of twelve, we somehow found ourselves drawn, as if by some unseen force, to the Mitsukoshi department store in the Japan pavilion…

MOON: I know what’s coming up next… And all I have to say about that is: 1. I LOVE cats and 2. It wasn’t that bad! Just a lot of wrapping paper…

JENN: Right, so you know all those adorable dishes they have in the last section of the store? Moon bought ALL THE DISHES.

MOON: My kitty thanks Disney for the dishes. 🙂

JENN: In fairness, I was over in the Shinzi Katoh section squeeling over adorable tote bags I didn’t need but bought anyway because one had a black cat and I have a black cat and EEEEE. If I ever become independently wealthy, I’m hitting up Mitsukoshi first. And I’m having a margarita before I start.

MOON: So, had I made it through the margarita, what would we have had next?

JENN: Something from Norway. Maybe we’d be REALLY brave and try a shot of Aquavit. See if we’re vikings on the inside.

MOON: I can do a shot of anything. Challenge accepted.

JENN: Oh my. I guess it’s happening next time! We’ll just have to start our Drinking Around the World at 11AM.

MOON: Just a suggestion, but perhaps I should give myself the length of our stay in Disney to drink myself around the world. If we’re staying for less than a week’s time then I’ll still be drunk for a large portion of the trip.

JENN: We can just camp in Epcot.

MOON: I would be okay with that. Can you imagine riding Spaceship Earth all night?

JENN: We could fall asleep to the gentle lilting tones of Dame Judi Dench telling us to thank the Phoenicians.

MOON: I’ve always had an affinity for the transcribing monk. You know, the sleepy one.

JENN: There ya go. That can be us!

Yo de lay hee yo de lay hee yo de lay hee

One of these days, we really ARE going to Drink Around the World. MARK OUR WORDS.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.com. See ya real soon!